Thursday, October 13, 2005

RICHARD COHEN can either read minds or predict the future, because he writes that he knows that the outing of Valerie Plame's CIA status was not intentional. It's a felony to deliberately reveal the identity of an undercover CIA agent; but since Cohen knows for a fact that no one meant to out Plame or put her in danger of assassination, he thinks Patrick Fitzgerald should close his investigation and go home.

I'm thinking that Cohen's stance is due more to ideology than extrasensory perception, though. He sneers at the idea that Pres. Bush knew the claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger was fraudulent. He laughs at the charge that Bush would use his State of the Union address to cite evidence against Iraq that he knew was false. He compares the outing of a CIA agent to the idle gossip that even hairdressers and shop girls know about in Washington. He thinks Judith Miller is a "martyr to a free press" (whatever that means), and characterizes her detractors as the "hissing of lefty critics."

One wonders if Cohen felt the same way about Ken Starr's investigation of Pres. Clinton. What's the big deal about lying under oath? People lie all the time in Washington -- about much more germane matters than the definition of sexual intercourse.

Or perhaps Cohen is just upset because Fitzgerald's office does not recognize how important he is. Listen to the whining here:

I have no idea what Fitzgerald will do. My own diligent efforts to find out anything have come to naught. Fitzgerald's non-speaking spokesman would not even tell me if his boss is authorized to issue a report, as several members of Congress are now demanding -- although Joseph E. diGenova, a former U.S. attorney in Washington, tells me that only a possibly unprecedented court order would permit it.

It sounds to me like Cohen thinks Fitzgerald has nothing because he wouldn't tell Richard Cohen of the Washington Post what he has.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Cohen:

The editors at the Washington Post embarassed you and their newspaper by failing to point out some glaring mistakes in your argumentation. I only have time for a couple of examples, but there are more if you read it closely. Take more care next time:

I am writing about "Let This Leak Go" by Richard Cohen in the Op Ed section of October 13th.

Have the editorial standards of the Washington Post deteriorated so much that it would print fallacious arguments like "it was not the intent of anyone to out a CIA agent and have her assassinated" as if they contained any relevance? It certainly wasn't my intent to get a speeding ticket today; maybe your newspaper would care to give me space to defend myself?

A second example among many is where Cohen writes:

"...concerning the disclosure of secret material. Here again, though, this is a daily occurrence in Washington, where most secrets have the shelf life of sashimi..."

I told the police officer that I drive this fast every day, but that didn't seem to help. I wonder why?

Shame on your editorial staff for lowering the standards of your newspaper and insulting your readership with this type of nonsensical argumentation.